Jake Abel and Saoirse Ronan make out (again) in The Host.

Jake Abel and Saoirse Ronan make out (again) in The Host.

Reel Reviews: Alien love triangle best left on page

The Host is a perfect example of the kind of story not to make into a movie.

  • Apr. 7, 2013 1:00 p.m.

The Earth has been overrun by a parasitic alien race. Humans play host to fragile tentacled beings of light, small enough to hold in your hand. These creatures are surgically implanted into our necks where they latch onto our brain stems, at which point we cease being who we were and become them. Some humans are able to resist this personal invasion and fight back, from within their own minds. From this internal struggle a resistance is formed.

We say, “It’s a perfect example of the kind of story not to make into a movie.”

HOWE: The Host is a very interesting concept of a movie yet I found myself wishing it was over within the first 15 minutes. There were a few things that really grated me about it. The main seeker (Diane Kruger) riding around hopelessly looking for Melanie/Wanda for most of the movie and even the great William Hurt couldn’t save this dud. But what really got under my skin was when Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) was implanted with the parasite,Wanda. The conversations, the arguing and the screaming (that takes place inside Melanie’s head) between the personalities, was really annoying.

TAYLOR: I agree. Anytime you have narration in a movie, it’s usually because the film is unable to speak for itself. Oftentimes novels that have been turned into movies fail because of an inability to have a character’s thoughts expressed visually. Both these setbacks plague The Host and it suffers because so much of the drama takes place in one girl’s bifurcated consciousness.

HOWE: Yet again we find ourselves rooting for the bad guys, after all the aliens were providing us with a Utopian system to live by: no war, no poverty and lots of love. Maybe a little too much love in this instance: One girl, two boys. Yet this is nothing new to expect from writer Stephenie Meyer seeing as she is the author of the Twilight Saga. I wonder if she has another agenda for herself?

TAYLOR: Cashing in on the shallow lusting of teenage girls? This encompasses the bulk of the plot. It’s a shame really. Meyer has left so many questions unanswered, and these concerns are the things that would have made the film better. Without learning much of anything about this ancient alien race, we are left with a girl with two personalities: one loves boy A, one loves boy B. Guess who doesn’t care…

HOWE: Either of us. The film could have made a meaningful statement about the power of love, or even other human emotions. Instead it’s about physical attraction and nothing more. It wasn’t even interesting to watch, except for the shiny Lotus.

TAYLOR: Those seeking some of the illusory magic that made Twilight the phenom it was would be best served by simply reading The Host and leaving it to your imagination. It’s probably more capable. This movie is boring in multiple galaxies.

— Howe gives The Host 1 wandering soul out of 5.

— Taylor gives it 1.5 rolled eyes out of 5.

The film is currently playing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are freelance movie reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.